Action group set up to tackle wind farms

FURIOUS villagers are setting up an action group against a pig farmer’s planning application for three wind turbines.

Ermine Farms Ltd, which owns Heath Farm in Normanby by Spital, wants to put up three 35m turbines on its land in the village – but residents say this would spoil their views and devalue their homes.

Richard Armstrong - who lives in a Grade II listed building in Front Street, 900m from the turbines’ proposed site – said the value of his home would plummet by about £80,000 if the development goes ahead.

Richard, who has already met with MP Edward Leigh, is one of the people leading the fight against the application – more than 60 concerned residents packed out a meeting earlier this month.

He said: “We’re not against the turbines in principle, but the siting of them is important. Why should we be affected by the desires of a business, which will receive massive subsidies, which we pay for in our taxes, when our property values and businesses are affected massively and there is no benefit to the local community.”

He said West Lindsey District Council planners have told villagers they did not consider the impact on views from domestic properties or the value of property, when determining applications.

But resident Gary Walker and wife Aderyn said WLDC made them lower the roof-line on their Field Lane home by two feet when they built it 15 years ago – because it would have spoiled the view from the countryside.

Gary owns two fields which are one field down from the site of the proposed development. They are used by Holton le Moor riding club for training, club shows and the annual open show, which attracts up to 200 horses.

In a letter to WLDC, Holton le Moor and District Riding Club chairman Mrs Pickering, said: “These turbines if erected, will cause our club to have many problems. Money, venue and most importantly, safety.”

MP Edward Leigh is opposing the application and said it would be a “disaster” if the turbines were put up in Normanby by Spital. Mr Leigh has also signed a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for him to scrap the massive subsidies given to on-shore wind farms.

A supporting statement in Ermine Farms Ltd’s planning application said: “Pig farming in the UK has come under increased pressure from rising feed costs and retailers are seeking to ensure high environmental performance of their suppliers and are keen to see onsite energy generation.

“The applicant is looking to improve the sustainability and long term financial viability of the business by generating electricity onsite broadly equal to the power consumed by the farm.”

It went on to say: “The proposal would not represent a prominent or visually intrusive feature in the surrounding rural landscape.”

The action group will hold its first meeting on Monday, July 2, at the Bottle and Glass pub, Normanby by Spital, at 7.30pm.